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I don’t think that my mum knew what she was doing when she made her Will. How can I tell if she lacked capacity?

You may be concerned that a family member or friend did not understand what they were doing when they made their Will. The legal test for whether or not a testator had sufficient mental capacity to make a Will requires that:

  • They understand the nature of the act of making a Will and its effect – in other words, that he or she understands that they are setting out how they wish for their estate to be distributed upon their death;
  • The size of their estate;
  • The individuals in respect of which they are morally bound to provide for and any consequences of not providing for these individuals; and
  • That they are not suffering from any disorder of the mind which may effectively poison their feelings toward people who may otherwise expect to benefit from the estate.

The process of analysing whether or not a testator did lack the mental capacity to make a Will involves consideration of the evidence of the solicitor or Will maker involved in the preparation of the Will, the testator’s medical records and the witness evidence of other people who were involved in the testator’s life.